Game Digital sales to fall 5 per cent

Computer game. Photo credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire
Computer game. Photo credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire
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Sales at struggling retailer Game Digital are expected to fall 5 per cent this year amid challenging high street trading, but the firm is ramping up its presence in rapidly growing e-sports markets.

The group said revenue for the year to July 29 is tipped to fall from £822.5m to £780m, having earlier said its performance would be hit by poor stock availability of Nintendo Switch.

But Game is now planning to tap what it calls the “significant potential” of the group’s e-sports activities, where gamers battle it out in front of crowds at events such as Insomnia.

The video games retailer, in which Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct holds a 26 per cent stake, hopes this will mitigate a difficult consoles market.

Game said in June it was seeing “continued softness” in its core Xbox and PlayStation markets which, along with a “challenging trading environment”, is impacting sales.

In March, Game said first half pre-tax profits tumbled 26.7 per cent to £16.5m while sales, by gross transaction value, slumped 18.1 per cent in the UK.

However, chief executive Martyn Gibbs said: “Game has made further progress in the second half of the year as we continue to focus on developing our strategic initiatives whilst creating a new cost base for our UK retail business to address the challenges in the UK console market.”

Earlier this week Game announced a concessions agreement with electronics firm Maplin as it looks for other ways to boost profits.